Ronda Andrews, who has more than 30 years of experience in the software industry, serves on the board of the EDIC for Municipal Government. Prior to joining the EDIC, she served as a software tester at Partners Healthcare Systems, where she worked for nine years. Previously, she was also a member of the Framingham Town Meeting for Precinct 16 for three years and is currently an activist for environmental clean-up issues. Choose Framingham asked her a few questions about the changes she has seen taken place in Framingham and what roles she sees the EDIC playing in promoting economic development in the city.
Why did you wish to join Framingham’s Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC)?
When I first moved to Framingham 21 years ago, one of my biggest disappointments was the downtown area. Driving through other metro west mill towns and seeing how their downtowns looked like they were alive, not blighted, and a place one would enjoy shopping, eating or walking around, I would become angry at our downtown area. But soon after that, things began to happen and over the years I have seen much improvement. We still have a way to go, but now I am proud of what has transpired here. Also, living on the southside of Framingham and being much aware of the problems unique to this part of the city, I thought that perhaps the EDIC was an area that I might be able to contribute something.
What are your goals for the EDIC?
Right now, we have devoted much of our time to revamping the EDIC, and we are on track if all goes as planned, to become an independent entity and be able to embark on a project that we can initiate and see to fruition. Having a success in this project should demonstrate that the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) - as we will be known in the future - is a worthwhile contributor to the city addressing economic challenges in all sectors, not just industrial. We have been somewhat slowed down by this pandemic facing us, but we are still moving forward.
You have over 30 years of experience in the software industry, how does that experience inform your work on the EDIC?
In my 30 years in the software industry, I have worked on portfolio accounting applications, insurance applications, as well as medical applications; I have worked in administrative positions, testing of software, where I had to interact with software developers, product design analysts, and as a customer support representative. So as none of these experiences can directly relate to economic development per se, my interaction with people skills and decision-making skills are perhaps my greatest assets.
Tell us why a business should locate in Framingham?
Depending on the type of business thinking about locating in Framingham, they should consider the following:
- Excellent demographics
- Diversity in people currently living in or near Framingham
- Access to major highways and commuter rail for potential employees or customers
- Synergistic possibilities from complimentary business that would attract people to their location
- Possibility of Opportunity Zones
- Many hotels for out-of-town visitors
- MetroWest Medical Center
- Proximity to other major medical centers such as those in Boston and Worcester
- Framingham State University and Mass Bay Community College
What are your favorite things about the city?
- The library
- Skate Park
- Cushing Park
- Farm Pond
- Wide range of shopping
- Our own local news, Framingham SOURCE